Today campaigners at the High Court lost a legal battle against the government’s handling of the rise in the women’s state pension age. The application to the court addressed matters arising from the government policy of equalisation of the pension ages and its impact on women born in the 1950s.
Last month Jon Cruddas MP wrote to the Prime Minister urging the government to introduce fair transitional State Pension arrangements to mitigate the negative impact on women living in his constituency. However, the response was not favourable and stated that the government believe they have provided appropriate notice of the changes.
Jon Cruddas commented: “today’s High Court decision will come as a bitter disappointment for millions of women across the country. There are over 4,000 women set to be affected by these changes across Dagenham and Rainham which is why I wrote to Boris last month. The government have moved the goalposts leaving many with less than a year to prepare for a six-year change in the pension age. That doesn’t seem like an appropriate timescale to me and I will continue to work towards a fairer system alongside WASPI campaigners.”
Every independent review of the changes has recommended a minimum of 10 years notice for changes of this scale, yet whilst some women received only a year, many never received a letter at all from the government.
Michael Mansfield QC, representing the women affected at the High Court, said: “They have pushed women who were already disadvantaged into the lowest class you can imagine. They’re on the brink of survival, and I’m not overstating that. This group – especially the percentage of the group affected born in 1953 onwards – are increasingly having taken away from them four to six years’ worth of state pension.”
Labour have made commitments to support the women affected, which include extending Pension Credit to thousands of the most vulnerable women.
Jon added: “a recent report highlighted that there is over £6 million in unclaimed Pension Credit that residents in Dagenham and Rainham are entitled to. I’m urging people of pension age to find out if they could be claiming extra support.”
Find out if you or a relative is entitled to Pension Credit:
Pension Claim line
- Telephone: 0800 99 1234
- Textphone: 0800 169 0133
- NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 99 1234
- Monday to Friday, 8am to 7:30pm